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VirE2 : a unique ssDNA-compacting molecular machine

Grange, W. and Duckely, M. and Husale, S. and Jacob, S. and Engel, A.. (2008) VirE2 : a unique ssDNA-compacting molecular machine. PLoS Biology, Vol. 6, H. 2 , e44.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5262442

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Abstract

The translocation of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) across membranes of two cells is a fundamental biological process occurring in both bacterial conjugation and Agrobacterium pathogenesis. Whereas bacterial conjugation spreads antibiotic resistance, Agrobacterium facilitates efficient interkingdom transfer of ssDNA from its cytoplasm to the host plant cell nucleus. These processes rely on the Type IV secretion system (T4SS), an active multiprotein channel spanning the bacterial inner and outer membranes. T4SSs export specific proteins, among them relaxases, which covalently bind to the 5' end of the translocated ssDNA and mediate ssDNA export. In Agrobacterium tumefaciens, another exported protein-VirE2-enhances ssDNA transfer efficiency 2000-fold. VirE2 binds cooperatively to the transferred ssDNA (T-DNA) and forms a compact helical structure, mediating T-DNA import into the host cell nucleus. We demonstrated-using single-molecule techniques-that by cooperatively binding to ssDNA, VirE2 proteins act as a powerful molecular machine. VirE2 actively pulls ssDNA and is capable of working against 50-pN loads without the need for external energy sources. Combining biochemical and cell biology data, we suggest that, in vivo, VirE2 binding to ssDNA allows an efficient import and pulling of ssDNA into the host. These findings provide a new insight into the ssDNA translocation mechanism from the recipient cell perspective. Efficient translocation only relies on the presence of ssDNA binding proteins in the recipient cell that compacts ssDNA upon binding. This facilitated transfer could hence be a more general ssDNA import mechanism also occurring in bacterial conjugation and DNA uptake processes.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Former Organization Units Biozentrum > Structural Biology (Engel)
UniBasel Contributors:Engel, Andreas H
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1545-7885
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:09 Jan 2015 09:25
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:32

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